Options for Housing Support to Consider

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Many people have a hard time managing housing expenses, especially when the cost of their housing is no longer affordable. In fact, according to the Department of Housing and Development (HUD), affordable housing is when a tenant spends at most 30% of their income on housing expenses. Households that spend more than this can find themselves cost-burdened. This can be stressful and make people feel hopeless. Thankfully, this does not need to be the case. That’s because there are housing support options out there that could be beneficial to those in need of support.

Common Options for Housing Support

When housing expenses are too high, many people start looking for different ways to improve their current situations. A popular way to improve this situation is through assistance programs that offer housing support to qualifying Americans. Besides programs, there are also loans that come with supportive terms designed to help those in need. First, let’s take a look at some popular housing aid opportunities.

Popular Housing Aid Opportunities

Many housing aid programs out there can help at local, state, and federal levels. These programs offer qualifying applicants housing aid opportunities. However, we are going to focus on options at the federal level. Some opportunities to be aware of include:

  • Public Housing
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)
  • Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program

Public Housing

Usually, public housing comes in the form of apartment units. The HUD is responsible for funding this program and your local public housing authority (PHA) is responsible for program management. If you are interested in public housing, then you should:

  • Meet the financial requirements of your area
  • Successfully pass a background check, since your local PHA might need references
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have qualifying immigration status
  • Contact your local PHA

Even though 1.3 million households currently benefit from public housing, plenty of people are not getting the support they need. That’s because there are not enough housing resources to meet the demand for assistance needed. Keep in mind that, because of the lack of resources and high demand for housing aid, there are typically long waitlists for public housing.

Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8)

Section 8 is a common housing support opportunity for people who need housing aid. Applicants that receive approval get a housing voucher from the program to use on housing expenses. However, even with a housing voucher, you cannot use them at just any property. That means that only properties that allow this kind of payment are the places you can use them. If you want to get Section 8 benefits, then you should:

  • Meet the financial requirements of your area
  • Locate a property that Section 8 approves of and have the landlord accept your application

Unfortunately, Section 8 also has long waitlists. This is why you should apply as soon as you can. Applying is free, so you should start the application process as soon as possible.

Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program

One specific group that is finding it hard to deal with housing costs is seniors. This is why the federal government designed the Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program. This housing support program can offer seniors who have limited income and are at least the age of 62 the chance to get housing aid.

Housing Loans For Those Who Do Have Limited Income

Housing loans are another type of supportive housing option that can help those in need. That’s because not every loan is created equal. There are some loans that have more beneficial terms. A couple of loans to consider include:

  • Rural Homeownership Direct Loan Program
  • Farm Labor Housing Loans

Rural Homeownership Direct Loan Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has an agency called the Rural Housing Service (RHS), which offers this financing opportunity. This agency can establish loans for eligible families that have limited income to use for creating, fixing, and revitalizing rural properties. It could even finance the cost of moving to a rural area for recipients. It’s worth noting that this is one of the housing support programs that offer loans on mobile homes and/or manufactured properties too! One of the best perks is that these loans do not require a downpayment and offer subsidized interest rates.

Farm Labor Housing Loans 

This loan opportunity allows farm laborers to use the funds to purchase, build, renovate, or fix homes. That includes farmers in aqua agriculture like:

  • Fish and oyster farms
  • On-farm processing

Basically, anything farmer-related like farmers, family farm businesses, Native American tribes, non-profit organizations, farm-worker associations, and many more can benefit from this loan.

Applying for Housing Support

The exact application process will vary on factors like area and the type of assistance you are applying for. Fortunately, your local PHA can tell you how to apply and other relevant information about your application. You might need to present documents but it can differ. However, documents that you will probably need to present include:

  • Social security numbers for you and your family
  • Your state-issued I.D. or driver’s license.
  • Your current lease agreement
  • Financial information

If You Are Ineligible for Housing Support, Then You Can Consider Other Options

If you are not eligible for housing support, then you should consider other ways to decrease your housing costs. You might need to think about serious changes in your lifestyle to do so. This could include moving to a smaller home or moving somewhere cheaper.

Improve Your Living Expenses

It is possible that you will need to make significant lifestyle changes to decrease your housing expenses. That includes moving to a smaller home which involves downsizing in one way or another. If you don’t want to downsize you may be able to benefit from getting a roommate. Even if you actually go from a one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom apartment, it may be cheaper. That’s because splitting the expenses with your roommate can be quite beneficial!

Move Somewhere Cheaper

Every area has a different cost. Living in New York is likely much more expensive than living in North Dakota. You might not need to make that kind of big change, but you should think about moving. When you consider other areas to move to, you should include other factors like how far it is from essentials like the grocery store and work, the area’s school system if you have kids, and so on.

Final Verdict

Housing programs and housing loans are some of the many available housing support opportunities. This includes:

  • Public Housing
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program
  • Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program
  • Rural Homeownership Direct Loan Program
  • Farm Labor Housing Loans

While looking for an affordable housing situation can be hard, you should do your best to stay calm, educate yourself, and find a housing option that fits your budget. Your local PHA is the right place to start searching. They can let you know what local, state, and federal opportunities are available. Besides that, you may be able to improve the affordability of your housing situation by either:

  • Moving to a Smaller Home
  • Moving Somewhere Cheaper

You have plenty of options to consider, you just need to know what’s best for you! Take your time to check out what’s available and think about what could help your current situation.